Ginger Jam ~ Chill’n With Pumpkin!

Ginger jam needs fruit to become a jam. I used primarily tangerines in this recipe. Don’t throw out your old pumpkin. This jam uses pumpkin. Pumpkin pairs well with oranges and lemon. People add from 2 tablespoons to 1/2 cup of ginger in their jam. I use one cup of chopped ginger. It is your palate. You decide. Watch the videos and see how everyone makes jam a little differently.

Freezer Jam

FREEZER JAM -Spicy ginger & sweet pumpkin. NO SUGAR!

Freezer jam uses less sugar than regular shelf jam. Also, shelf jam goes in the fridge after you open the jar. Freezer jam starts in the fridge. You can freeze these jams too.

What Makes GINGER JAM Good?

(1) The spicy notes from ginger. A different jam.
(2) Ginger Jam is packed with nutrients! (3) Date sugar replaces processed sugar.

Powdered DATE Sugar can be purchased or made at home.

HOW to make date powder/sugar? See video below.

I grew up with cloudberry and lingonberry jam in Finland. Both jams are not overly sweet with a slightly tart taste. In Canada, I tolerated apple jelly until I started to make my own jams. I prefer freezer jam because I get that great blend of flavours without the sugar rush.

NOTE: is no longer providing a print feature. I will get the code to add a new print button as soon as I can do it! 😦



  • 1/2 – 1 CUP of diced ginger (peel ginger by scraping with a metal spoon or peeler)
  • 1 1/2 cup of date sugar [ watch date sugar making video – see below ]
  • 3 1/2 heaping cups of fruit (about 2 lbs); tangerine segments combined with cooked pumpkin. You may add apples and/or apple peals or mandarin oranges. Note: It all has to add up to 3 1/2 cups
  • Zest* 3 tangerines [ use zest tool -see below] and soften in 1/3 cup of hot water [ use microwave ]
  • A big pinch of sea salt [enhances the flavour]
  • 1 lemon (about a heaping tablespoon) (Zest lemon and combine the lemon zest with the tangerine zest )


  • Prepare ginger: Finely dice or purée in a blender. You can do half puréed and half rough, diced ginger, for texture.
  • Dice/chop orange segments (or other fruit) with cooked pumpkin to make up 3 1/2 cups of fruit (& pumpkin).
  • Mix chopped fruit, softened zest and date sugar together. and set aside for 1 hour [ very important step ].
  • Add mixture into a heavy pot. Then, add lemon juice, ginger, salt and left over zest water. Bring to a boil over medium/high heat. TIP: Make sure your pot reaches a rolling boil for about 3 minutes.Your jam is very close to being done. At this point you should have reached the required temperature to set your jam/jelly)
  • Check for doneness: Cook fruit until your thermometer reaches 220 F or 105C. [ 30-60 minutes]
  • If you are not using a thermometer, test the jam by looking at the drips from your stir spoon. Slow, syrup-like drips indicates the jam is ready. I recommend this for experienced jam makers. More caning tips: For newbies: Use the thermometer and spoon test together to see how the jam looks at the correct temperature. You may skip the thermometer test after you are more experienced.
  • Remove pot from heat when you have reached the required temperature.
  • Place jam in warm, sterilized jars and store in the fridge for 1 month, or freezer for several months.

Natural Pectin

*Zest: The majority of the pectin resides in the citrus peel. Natural pectin helps remove toxins such as lead and mercury from your body. TIP: make single batches only. Double batches do not work well. Gift extra jam to friends.

Zest Tool

Commercial Pectin

Commercial pectin is made from Apple pulp, citrus zest and acidic lemon juice. Pectin like Certo and Sure Jell are added to jams to promote a thick gel while making home made jam. But, that can change the flavor of your jam. If you want to ensure you are “Gellin” with ‘natural’ jam, you can add apple skins to your jam for added pectin. Sieve the apple peals out as you fill your jam jars. I use the tangerine zest for my natural pectin in this ginger/pumpkin jam recipe.

JAM with Date Sugar – A Surprise Find!


ANSWER: No! There’s really not a whole lot of difference between the two besides the form you give the fruit. Preserves noticeably have more chunky fruit.


  • Watch the way the jam drips.
    • Swirl your spatula through your cooking jam, hold it up over the pot, and watch how it falls. If the jam runs right off the spoon and looks thin and runny, it’s not done yet. However, if it forms thick droplets that hang heavily off the bowl of the utensil, but don’t immediately fall off, it is either nearing completion or is done. When the jam falls off the spoon almost like a is completely done.
  • Give it time to Set.
    • Jam can take up to a week to achieve its finished set. You may think its runny, but its not. Some jams take 3 hours or 3 weeks to set into a gel like state. Don’t declare it a failure ten minutes out of the pot. I learned the hard way. If it’s done and runny put the jam in a jar. It’s okay. As it cools the jam thickens. Be Patient
    • HARD JAM: If you cook your jam too long it will start to get hard or even burn in your pot. Take heed of a thermometer or the dripping spoon test. Everything can happen very quickly when you are on a rolling boil.
  • Watch and listen.
    • When is the jam ready? As a seasoned jammer, I have learned that most batches of jam will tell you when they’re done. When the cooking noise takes on a frenzied quality that sounds more like a sizzle than a gentle boil. IT IS DONE ! You will also notice that towards the end, the foam subsides and jam starts to gather more thickly on the sides of the pot, and it begins to splatter more violently.

Jam or Preserves?

Home-Made LOVE …Jams or Preserves. It’s All Good!

Classic AMISH Strawberry Jam Recipe

Freezer Jam Tips

Two Dates a Day..Keeps The Doctor Away!

Noor Dates
Two Noor Dates

How To Make Your own Date Sugar [ Easy]


  • Clean the dates by rinsing
  • Soak dates in 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water for 15 minutes. dates
  • Spread onto a tray and dry in the oven at 250 F
  • Oven or air dry dates until hard
  • Place dry dates in a grinder and reduce to a granular powder

Canal House Lentils #Plant Based Salad

It was hard to find the origin of Canal House lentils. I was told New Orleans. But, I found no evidence to support this claim. If you know, please share in the comments. More importantly, this recipe hails Le Puy lentils, a unique member of the lentil family.

Le Puy Lentils

FRENCH Le Puy LENTILS are about one-third the size of regular lentils and have a slight peppery taste. They are grown in mineral rich volcanic ash in a French town called Le Puy (PWEE)-en-Velay in the Haute Loire region of Auvergne, France. Aromatics are sautéed and then simmered with French Le Puy lentils for 20 to 25 minutes. It is an easy side dish, redolent of a Provencal feast. Authentic Le Puy lentils have an A.O.C. (appellation d’origine contrôlée) seal of approval. In fact in 1996, Le Puy green lentil was the first vegetable to obtain an A.O.C. designation.

French Green Lentil – Verte du Puy


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium leek white and pale green parts, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 1 cup of green lentils ( preferably French Le Puy Lentils)
  • 2 tbsp. reduced salt soy sauce
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper


  1. Take a saucepan and heat oil on a medium heat.
  2. Add the leek and cook for a minute/ then add chopped garlic and tomato paste, stir and watch as paste darkens in about 4 minutes.
  3. Add lentils and ½ cup water. Boil it on high and then reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 45-55 minutes, with occasional stirring.
  4. Remove from heat and set aside covered for 10 minutes.
  5. Then, stir in soy sauce and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Optional: Serve with diced scallions, red pepper and/or cilantro, parsley and finely chopped kale.

Serving Suggestions

Warm Salad Today ……Cold Salad Tomorrow. You Can Serve It Either Way

Quality & Assurance of Origin -AOC


Le Puy lentils: The first vegetable to acquire the AOC ( Appellation d’Origine Côntrolée ) certification in France. It assures the buyer that this item originated in the geographical region of Le Puy in France. AOC supports the authenticity of wines, cheese or in this case Le Puy lentils.

  • 💜 Tiny slate-gray/green lentils grown in France
  • 💜 They make a delicious side dish
  • 💜 The hold their shape after cooking
  • 💜 BUY French Le Puy Lentils. online
  • A.O.C. mark of quality and assurance of origin

LENTILS in general are loaded with protein, iron and zinc, not to mention fibre, folate, and potassium. They’re also rich in prebiotics that are brilliant at feeding your friendly flora. A must have every day of the week!

Tacos Tonight!

VARIETY IS THE SPICE OF LIFE and so are tacos. SPICY! AYE-E-E-E !!!!I This Taco Recipe gets you to Flavor Town. Colonel Sanders is not the only one with a secret recipe….My special spices will make you come back for more! I am sharing my secret taco recipe here at Simply Splendid Food with you. Friends have said it’s the best tacos they have E-V-E-R had! Would you agree?

Tacos and a frosty cold mug of beer is a Taco Marriage.


  • 1 1/2 lb ground meat
  • 1/2 lb. ground pork or veal
  • 1 1/2 tsp. fresh rosemary, about one sprig
  • 1/2 tsp. coriander
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 10 pods cardamon
  • 2 tbsp. chili powder + more if needed, after mixing all ingredients
  • Pinch of salt (pink or sea salt with added iodine) and pepper to taste.
    • good salt makes a difference. Irish salt is one of the best tasting salt.
  • 1 – 2 medium cooking onion -diced
  • 3 garlic cloves -minced
  • 1 – 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 10 medium flour tortillas
This is the Black Granite Mortar and Pestle I use today: heavy duty. My first Marble M&P is very good too!


  • Grind and mix your spices together (except salt and pepper) using a mortar and pestle
  • Heat onions and rosemary in oil until translucent.
  • Add your spices. Mix for 10 seconds longer. Add fresh garlic.
  • Add ground meat and blend in the onions and spices until meat is brown.
  • Add salt and pepper after meat has been browned.
  • Take a nose test and smell your mixture. If you need more chili powder add more. I added about 1/2 tsp ground chili flakes.
  • OPTIONAL: Add heat: Red pepper flakes ( a sprinkle ) or fresh Mexican green chili. You can add diced, raw jalapeño peppers in the mix in the end (with or without seeds). The seeds are the heat. No additional cooking.
  • TIP: Place tortilla/taco in toaster to warm up. Hint: Gently fold over the tortilla and insert into a toaster slot.
  • SUBSTITUTE: For a hearty wrap use burrito wraps or lettuce wrap.


  • Diced tomatoes
  • Lettuce
  • Sour cream
  • Cheddar cheese: shredded or diced
  • Optional: Add home made refried bean paste to the base of a tortilla [ or burrito – I use both wraps]
  • EXTRA ZIP: add diced jalapeño or banana peppers. You choose your heat!
SOFT TACO: Take Charge Of Your Life …61 Calories At A Time
HARD TACO: Toasty Crunch YUM-M_M_M !
Burrito Wrap and Lettuce Wrap Works!


This recipe can be refrigerated 3-4 days for another meal -> a fast, healthy lunch or dinner. To serve again pop your tacos in the toaster. Heat up a portion of meat in the microwave oven. Assemble your taco as you like it. I still had about 1/3 cup of taco mix after a few more meals. I added my mix as a topping to a four cheese pizza I purchased ‘on sale’ at the grocery store. I also added sliced kumato tomatoes. Ready in 12 minutes! YUM-M-M!

Make as much spicy seasoning as you want. You know what’s in it and no preservatives! A time saver for tacos for another day!

Home Made Tacos

I found a great site today for homemade tacos. Click here . When you ‘Download” the recipe, Terrie includes a page on Tips For Success. What I learned the hard way!” This is wonderful! I have ordered my Masa Harina online and will enjoy turning another new page in my culinary journey.

Pizza with Spinach and Sun Dried Tomatoes

THIN CRUST SPINACH & SUN DRIED TOMATOES PIZZA has become a staple in our home. Guilt-free pizza with only 1 g of carbs per slice. Lots of protein and full of flavor!
2 tablespoon Olive Oil
2 large clove of Garlic (Minced)
1 Prepared Thin Pizza Crust (12 Inch )
5 ounces of Spinach (Fresh and organic)
1/4 cup of Sun Dried Tomatoes (Re-hydrated ), cut in thin strips
4 ounces crumbled Feta Cheese
Ground Black Pepper (To Taste)


  1.  Heat oven to 450 degrees and place pizza pan pan or stone in the oven to heat.  Use the middle rack. Steam sun dried tomatoes to hydrate. They should be ready after you have built the rest of the pizza.
  2. Heat Oil in a large skillet. Add garlic and cook on low for 1 minute (do not brown)
  3. Add spinach and season with pepper. Cover and cook stirring once – just until spinach is wilted.
  4. Top pizza crust with spinach and pan juices. Sprinkle on sun dried tomatoes and cheese
  5. Make a circle from your parchment and place the pizza and parchment on your hot pizza pan or pizza stone. Bake in  preheated oven ( 450 Degrees oven )  for 8-10 minutes

Trending sun dried tomatoes! How do I sun dry my own tomatoes – in the oven? please click here. My home made sun dried tomatoes not only have a dollar savings but it does not include any preservatives and is only handled by myself. Note: You do not need to add herbs when drying your tomatoes.

This is part of our theme on PLANT BASED DIETS. Lots of flavour and healthy goodness. I hope you enjoy our pizza.
Some kids don’t like garlic. This can be omitted as you know.

Tamarind and Chick Peas

9🎶  THREE’S  THE  CHARM  🎶  
I had this dish years ago, without all the spices and was not impressed.  The spices in this recipe enhance the key flavour of  the tamarind.  Surprisingly, the 3 jalapeño peppers are not hot in this dish.  An EASY 30 MINUTE meal packed with protein and flavour.  Leftovers makes a great lunch at the office!  Another  winner!



1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
½ tsp nigella seeds
1½ tsp fennel seeds  ( or  anise seeds)
1 medium onion ( chopped )
400 g can chopped tomatoes (san marzano)
3 green jalaeño peppers, seeded and cut into quarter lengths
2-3 tsp monk fruit sweetener ( or stevia, truvia, etc. )
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp turmeric
410 g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1-2 tbsp tamarind paste ( adjust to taste )
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander
half a 250g/9oz bag of organic baby spinach leaves
Serving suggestion:  natural yogurt and chapatis


1. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Fry the nigella and fennel seeds for about 10 second. Add the onion and cook gently for 8-10 minutes until golden.

2. Mix in the tomatoes,  jalapeños,  sweetener ( Monk fruit ), paprika, turmeric and  chickpeas. Bring to a boil,  then simmer for 10 minutes.  Make sure your dish is stew-like; not too dry. Add water if needed.

3. Stir in the tamarind and coriander. ( (You need to do a taste test here. Add more tamerind to get  that tamerind sweet and sour flavour).  Add the spinach leaves and stir gently until they’ve just wilted. You can serve as a main course with yogurt and chapatis or as a side dish.

Tamarind paste

Tamarind Paste

Tamarind Chick Peas

Tamarind and Chick Peas

COOKING TIP:  Before starting to cook, do all your chopping and rinse out the chick peas. Check your spice rack to make sure you have all your spices  measured and placed in  small dishes. ahead of time. This “mise en place”  technique makes cooking time much faster.

WARNING: Do not buy tamarind without reading the ingredients on the label. I bought tamarind in a bottle at the grocery store. I neglected to read the label as I was in a hurry. The main ingredient was syrup. Tamarind was the fourth ingredient! I was disappointed. Do not accept substitutes or a bogus spice seller that claims to be tamarind. Without ‘true’ tamarind, this recipe is so – so. I soaked my tamerind block in water  took the seeds out and ladled the liquid into the dish. ( About 1 cup ) The difference was like night and day.

DID YOU KNOW? The recipe for WORCESTERSHIRE Sauce contains tamarind?  The one ingredient that sets Worcestershire sauce apart  is tamarind  fruit. The sweetness in this fruit  is balanced by its high content of acid, giving it that sweet-sour taste.

TAMARIND is a condiment, a spice and a fruit. Its extract, which tastes deliciously tangy, is one of the most highly valued foods in Asian and Indian cuisine. ( Origin: Africa )

TAMARIND contains an impressive amount of essential minerals such as thiamine, iron, magnesium and phosphorus. Some of its other prominent nutrients include niacin, calcium, vitamin C, copper, fiber and pyridoxine.

Tamarind treats both constipation and diarrhea naturally by increasing the effectiveness of the digestive tract.  Tamarind has long been considered a natural laxative.  It stimulates your metabolism and also keeps your digestive system strong and improves blood circulation. Good for weight loss. Boost your immune system. Also, it has anti-inflammatory properties.

Tamarind Pods and Beverage